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Horizontal photo of pasta with mussels and spicy tomato sauce in a skillet

Pasta with Mussels in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: European, Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Soaking the mussels: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 419kcal
Author: Edyta
Pasta with Mussels in a Spicy Tomato Sauce is a real treat. It comes together pretty quickly, it's super elegant and tastes absolutely amazing. It's a perfect meal for a weeknight dinner or date night in, with a glass of wine.
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Spicy Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 Vidalia Onion medium size, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chili Pepper Flakes
  • 1 can Cento Yellow Peeled Tomatoes 14 oz
  • 2 cans Cento Organic Whole Cherry Tomatoes 14 oz each
  • 1 teaspoon Salt or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley chopped


  • 1/4 Vidalia Onion medium size or medium shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 2 lb Mussels scrubbed


  • 3/4 lb Maurizio Bucatini Pasta


Preparing the Mussels:

  • Before you start cooking your dish I'd suggest placing the mussels in a bowl with ice water and let them soak for about 20 minutes, before scrubbing them. This will let the sand from the mussels fall to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Any of your live mussels that happen to be open and don't close to the touch, should be discarded.
  • Right before cooking the mussels, remove them from the water, scrub with a brush and remove any beards.

Making the Spicy Tomato Sauce:

  • In a deep pan or a dutch oven, saute chopped onions with olive oil, minced garlic, chili paper flakes, and fresh thyme, for about 5 minutes.
  • Add Cento Organic Whole Cherry Tomatoes and Cento Yellow Peeled Tomatoes with their juices to the pan.
  • Add a teaspoon of salt and sugar and a little bit of freshly grounded pepper. Cover the pot and let cook for 20- 25 minutes.

Cooking Pasta

  • Cook your Maurizio Bucatini according to instructions. *(see notes below on how to salt your pasta water).
  • Reserve a cup of pasta water and drain the rest once the pasta is cooked.

Cooking the Mussels:

  • In a dutch oven or heavy-duty pot with a cover, combine white wine, chopped onions, crushed garlic and bring it to boil.
  • Add mussels and cover it up. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until all the mussels have opened.
  • After the first 2 minutes remove the mussels that opened up and place them in a bowl; cover the pot and let the mussels to cook for couple more minutes. Any unopened mussels should be discarded.
  • Once all the mussels are in a bowl, let them cool off slightly. Once they're cool enough to handle, remove about 2/3 of the mussels from the shells and leave the rest in the shells.

Assembling the Pasta with Mussels in Spicy Tomato Sauce

  • Check tomato sauce for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed;
  • Add the mussels which were removed from shells to the spicy tomato sauce, and gently fold them in.
  • Add Bucatini to the pot or bowl, cover with sauce and gently mix together; if the sauce is too thick then add a little bit of your pasta water;
  • Transfer the pasta dish to a serving plate or pan (I like using my cast-iron skillet for the rustic effect).
  • Add your in-shell mussels on top and sprinkle with some chopped parsley for an outstanding looking dish, and serve.


You will need to salt your pasta water. Here are my recommendations:
For 4 quarts (16 cups of water) use:
  • 1 tablespoon of Table Salt, or
  • 1,5 to 2 tablespoons of Kosher Salt


Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 888mg | Potassium: 1045mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 637IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 7mg